This is the last in a series of posts describing my personal experience of having laser eye surgery in February 2012. To start at the beginning, go back to the first post in the series.
Fourteen months after my LASEK surgery, I have mostly forgotten about it. Which is to say, my vision is at least as good as it was before the surgery (with glasses). It’s a great outcome – the one I’d hoped for but feared might not happen.
My last contact with the clinic at Moorfields was back in November for my 6-month check-up. They did a sight test and I could actually read slightly more of the chart than I had been able to with my glasses on previously. This is a major result for me, especially as my eyesight with contact lenses was never as good as with glasses.
If I had to sum up my experience in a tweet, I’d say this: the procedure is quick and totally painless, it look much longer than I thought to heal (acceptable detailed eyesight took about 3 months) but LASEK has been brilliant for me.
This is the twelfth in a series of posts describing my personal experience of having laser eye surgery in February 2012. To start at the beginning, go back to the first post in the series.
It’s now three months post surgery and I was rather hoping that the last 10% of my eyesight would come into crisp focus, but it’s still not quite as good as it was before with glasses. I had my three-month follow up this week and my left eye is now +1.25 and my right eye is +1.00 (I was previously -7 in both). It means my distance vision is OK but my close-up vision is still a little bit poor (especially in my left eye).
I’ve been prescribed a cream and some drops which may well stimulate my eyes to completely heal, but it may take another six months or so according to the surgeon. For LASEK patients with severe myopia pre-op, it’s normal for the surgery to slightly overcorrect the problem as when the eyes settle the effect is to become more short sighted, apparently, so hopefully I’ll come back in to 0 or nearabouts in both eyes.
I’m not really having any problems apart from sometimes using my computer at night when my eyes are tired. Driving and normal day-to-day life is totally fine.
Will update again in a few months.
This is the eleventh in a series of posts describing my personal experience of having laser eye surgery in February 2012. To start at the beginning, go back to the first post in the series.
It’s now eight weeks after my LASEK surgery and I can happily report things improved a lot since the last post. Around three weeks after surgery, my right eye became pretty clear, although my left eye was still experiencing some double vision. That is still ever so slightly true, but my overall vision is now probably about 90% of what it was with glasses before the procedure. That is to say: I am no longer struggling to see things at all, thankfully. They may well continue to get a little better over the next few months.
I now regularly forget that I’ve had the procedure (apart from when I’m tired and think I need to take my contact lenses out, only to remember they aren’t in!). I’ve experienced absolutely no dry eye (but sometimes I put drops in late in the evening if I’ve had a long day). It’s great now that they have settled down enough for me to use my computer at full resolution again and I’ve started taking / editing pictures with my SLR again.
There’s one more check-up in late April at the three month point, but then I’m done. All in all I’d recommend the procedure. Aside from a few weeks of frustration whilst I was healing, I think it’s been a total success. If I were to go through it again, I’d have it done in a break between jobs to have a proper four week break to recover.
This is the ninth in a series of posts describing my personal experience of having laser eye surgery in February 2012. To start at the beginning, go back to the first post in the series.
Two full weeks in after surgery and things have improved a tiny bit this week, but I’m still getting headaches using a computer for long periods of time (which my job requires, unfortunately) and going back to my usual routine of cycling to work, doing a couple of runs per week and working full days doesn’t seem to have done me any favours.
I’m keeping going with the dexamethasone drops every other hour, and refresh at least once an hour. I suspect that the dexamethasone is making my skin more sensitive and scratchy than normal, which is odd, but these things happen.
Both eyes are still a bit blurry, and though eye drops bring some comfort and clarity it’s pretty short lived. If my eyes stay at this level I’ll be disappointed in the outcome.
I know I need to be patient and that this might take up to three months to be back to similar pre-op vision.
This is the eighth in a series of posts describing my personal experience of having laser eye surgery in February 2012. To start at the beginning, go back to the first post in the series.
Monday 13th February: went back to work for the first time today, which I was nervous about. Yesterday I went along to rehearse with a choir I’m hoping to join and sight reading music was a challenge – my eyes got very tired very quickly and went from blurry to blurrier.
Unfortunately something similar happened at work. I need to use a screen for most of the day, so I battled through with my text size bumped up significantly (much to the amusement of my colleagues who could see every email I was writing from a distance of approximately five miles) but still my close up vision was quite doubled, although distance vision was OK. Determined to get back to my normal routine, I struggled on, cycling to and from work and going for a run (which my legs were pretty happy about after 10 days off) but by late evening I could barely see the television and my eyes were strained and I had a headache. This was the first time since the surgery that I’ve had any real pain. My vision at the end of the day was noticably worse than at the start of the day so I tried to spend the evening resting as much as possible.
This is the seventh in a series of posts describing my personal experience of having laser eye surgery in February 2012. To start at the beginning, go back to the first post in the series.
Today I went for my post-op checkup back at Moorfields. I was able to get myself there fine, although the eyesight was a bit variable. I had struggled to find chickpeas in the supermarket the previous day so was feeling a bit flat. It was encouraging to be told that my eyes were healing normally by the optician, and that I was ready to have the contact lens bandage removed from my eyes – this was done with a pair of special tweezers and didn’t hurt at all. Following this I had some small plugs fitted to my tear ducts to help keep my eyes moist during the healing process.
I then saw the man who did the procedure itself, along with two trainees who all had a good look at my eyes, and told me to be patient as the recovery can take a long time with LASEK, especially for patients who previously had a high prescription. They offered to fit me with a temporary contact lens to help me get back to work but I decided to go without.
This is the sixth in a series of posts describing my personal experience of having laser eye surgery in February 2012. To start at the beginning, go back to the first post in the series.
Six days in – Wednesday 8th February. Today my sight has deteriorated a bit. After some delight yesterday at being able to use my iPhone close up without having to bump the text size up, that has become difficult again, and distance vision has deteriorated.
Apparently vision is quite variable (and mostly quite poor) to begin with as the epithelium, the surface layer of cells on the cornea, begins to heal. The damaged cells need to be replaced, which can take a month or more. I’m still a long way from having vision good enough to work and I certainly wouldn’t go driving.
Today’s medication routine is still…
- anti-inflammatory every other hour
- refresh every other hour (alternately)
- anti-biotic four times a day
- vitamin c (500g twice a day)
No painkillers, though.
Getting a bit bored of listening to French podcasts now.
This is the fifth in a series of posts describing my personal experience of having laser eye surgery in February 2012. To start at the beginning, go back to the first post in the series.
I got up at about 8:30am after another fine night’s sleep, and am rejoicing as I am now down to one set of drops per hour (instead of one set every half hour or fifteen minutes as it has been). Washed my hair this morning using comedy goggles, which snapped mid-way through causing a sort of awful shampoo-in-eye-post-op-first-world-problem crisis.
Eyes were much more comfortable today – no noticable scratchiness at all – but sight is still blurry. When squinting it’s possible to read the small digital clock on the oven from a distance of about 2m. Before the procedure I would have needed to be about 5-10cm from the clock to tell the time, so this is still quite exciting. Using my phone or computer is very difficult though.
This is the fourth in a series of posts describing my personal experience of having laser eye surgery in February 2012. To start at the beginning, go back to the first post in the series.
Day 2 (Sunday 5th February) of the recovery was definitely the least comfortable so far, but by no means painful. Again I had a great night of sleep, waking up at 10:30am. Vision was still very blurry, and my eyes were quite watery and still felt a bit large in my head. Feels a bit like the soreness you get after crying a lot, which makes sense given the amount of liquids going into my eyes.
The dilating eyedrops meant I looked a bit like this picture (on the left). I ventured out for the first time, walking down to Soho and back, wearing the super shades which is a great look in early February. It snowed overnight which meant that the world was a little higher contrast than usual, in my defence.
I couldn’t read road signs until I was about 20ft away and everything is very ghosty and foggy still. Actually found the walk a bit exhausting so collapsed back on the sofa on return.
Happily, I had a shower with some goggles which felt good, but didn’t wash my hair, so the greasefest continued atop my head.
This is the third in a series of posts describing my personal experience of having laser eye surgery in February 2012. To start at the beginning, go back to the first post in the series.
Despite the goggles I had a great night’s sleep, for about 11 hours (probably down to the oral voltarol, although I chose not to take the eye drop painkillers as I wasn’t in pain before bed). When I woke up my eyes were a bit sticky, but the refresh drops sorted that out. I had a minor headache, like after having new glasses, but this is to be expected. I felt pretty ecstatic as I was expecting to be in serious pain and so far it was just mild discomfort, listening to 6 music on the sofa and drinking tea. They are having a Kraftwerk weekend so lots of bloopy bleep.
Here is a big close up of my crazy dilated eyes on day one. I am less drugged up than I look in this picture.
My vision is ghostly, blurry but I can read the kitchen clock from the doorway at about 2m (this is my new benchmark) – prior to the surgery I would have had to be about 3 inches away from the clock to read this without glasses. Using my iPhone is possible with the text at 40pt, but using the laptop is very difficult indeed, probably because the dilating drops make it impossible to focus at that distance – getting a lot of double vision.
As I’m feeling fine, I’m up for a visit by some friends Pino and Peter and their gorgeous springer spaniel Daisy, and naturally to celebrate there is some more gin and some home-made pastries. It began snowing outside but I couldn’t really see it until it started to settle. That evening at about 11pm, after half-hourly drops all day, my eyelids became a bit swollen and my eyes started to feel sore and large in my head. I had the painkiller eyedrops for the first time along with the rest, and went to bed.